Put down the pitchforks, democracy has delivered

DH cropDuncan Hothersall, Labour Hame’s editor, says it’s time for the angry boil to be lanced. The democratic will of the people has been delivered and the debate must move on to how we use these powers to improve Scotland. 


Last night, as the Scotland Bill passed its final stages in the House of Commons, was another joyous evening on social media. Given the levels of angry outrage in the whipped up mob you’d be forgiven for thinking that some great betrayal had taken place. In fact the UK Parliament has fulfilled its pledge to substantially strengthen the powers of the Scottish Parliament while maintaining the union, as voted for by a majority of Scots last year.

For people whose single political aim is independence for Scotland, everything that doesn’t deliver independence is an outrage. That was the source of perhaps half of last night’s anger, and there was never anything that could be done about that.

The other half of the rage was cleverly fomented by the suggestion that by voting against the complete devolution of tax credits, Westminster was imposing Tory policy on Scotland. This claim requires some dissection.

The SNP know that with the advent of Universal Credit it would be pretty much impossible to devolve tax credits without devolving the entirety of out-of-work and income-based benefits too. And that would mean the assignation of a level of tax revenues and spending to Scotland that takes us into Full Fiscal Autonomy territory.

The problem with that was set out comprehensively last year by the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, who explained that successful single currency areas and multinational states require substantial fiscal transfer – in essence the pooling and sharing of resources – as a stabiliser against asymmetric economic shocks, like a collapse in the oil industry. A benefits system shared across the UK provides a substantial part of that stabiliser.

Scotland voted to stay part of the UK. Keeping the core of the social security system pooled across the UK helps to secure that, while the new powers of the Scotland Bill allow our parliament to amend any benefit it wants to, and to adjust taxes to pay for such amendments. Those who want to break up Britain have demonstrated time and again that they don’t care about the economic risks of fiscal autonomy or separation. By ensuring these economic foundations of the union remain in place Labour has stood up for Scotland, and for the Scottish people’s democratically expressed wish to retain the strength of being part of the UK.

We now have a Scottish Parliament fully able to deliver Scottish solutions to Scottish problems. That should be a cause for celebration. Sadly it is far easier, and much more emotionally effective, for folk to wish death on Labour politicians for a supposed betrayal than to honestly examine what is in the best interests of most Scots.

Supporters of last year’s Yes campaign have been sold the lie that if they only keep the flame alive until a second referendum can be forced on the Scottish people, they will be able to set aside the democratic choice of Scots made last September. As a result, too many of our fellow Scots are unable to move on. It is time for the leaders of the former Yes campaigning parties to lead, and tell their followers that a new phase has begun.

The passing of the final Commons stage of the Scotland Bill and the fulfilment of the Vow is to be widely welcomed. A powerful Scottish Parliament within a strong United Kingdom is what Scots voted for. It has been delivered. The perma-grievance politics of the SNP and much of the erstwhile Yes campaign saps the will of decent people and undermines democracy. This politics of division needs to end.

Scotland needs, finally, to call a halt to the post-referendum grievance hunt. The Scottish Parliament now has the power to decide what money is raised as well as what is spent. It has the power to amend any benefits but must choose how to pay for more spending. As Labour has demonstrated, the debate must now be over how these powers can be used to truly stand up for Scotland and those who live here. The endless debate about where powers lie must finally cease. It does Scots a disservice.

And this debate and last night’s anger also starkly demonstrates the limits of trusting a party whose sole aim is independence with running a powerfully devolved government. The SNP have demonstrated time and time again that their every political decision is a calculation about how to make independence more likely, not a calculation of how to make Scotland a better place. Scotland deserves better.

Labour’s opportunity today is to stand up for the Scotland that voted for improved devolution within a secure union. We have helped deliver this new phase in Scottish politics. Now let’s use those powers to improves the lives of those who need our help.

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90 thoughts on “Put down the pitchforks, democracy has delivered

  1. There is a a wide range of opinion on how much power the Scottish Parliament should have,from those who would like it scrapped altogether and direct rule restored,to those who want full independence.In the 2014 referendum people holding these diverse views were forced into a binary Yes/No choice.Last night,Westminster decided how much power to give Holyrood.Will it be enough to satisfy all the Scottish people? Of course not.It won’t satisfy die hard Nationalists.It might,however,satisfy enough Yes voters who aren’t die hard Nationalists,so that the constitutional question disappears from mainstream discourse.We’ll find out soon enough.The trouble is,Kezia has stated that these new powers are the destination for devolution.The process has reached its conclusion.If these powers are inadequate to satisfy the Scottish electorate,where then? I think it’s a big mistake to slam the door closed on devomax.

    1. The door to Devo max was slammed shut by “Better Together” when they refused to allow to have it included within the referendum question.
      What we are witnessing now is the PUNISHMENT for voting No.
      We are now witnessing the utter contempt the UK/English state has for the people of Scotland for failing to take their chance to break free from their corruption and overpowering influence.
      A poisoned chalice of responsibility without authority or full funding.
      Labour decided the continued suffering of the people of Scotland was a price worth paying to make the Governing of Scotland more difficult than it already is in the full knowledge that they no longer had any chance of becoming the Scottish Government in the near to foreseeable future.

      I’m actually almost tempted to wish for a Labour Government in Scotland in contrast with another Conservative Government in England just so the people of Scotland can see how well they would work together and jell to the detriment of Scotland. How Labour in Scotland controlled by Labour in London would fail to even attempt opposition to the Con Tory Government as they do today. Maybe that’s what it will take to wake some people up in this country.

      1. An old lie, that, Mike. Do you know who opposed having a second question in the referendum?
        – The SNP
        – The Labour Party
        – The Conservative Party
        – The Scottish Government
        – The UK Government
        oh, and
        – The Scottish people, as evidenced by responses to the consultation on the question.

        The pretence that not having a second question was imposed by baddies is a nonsense. A single question was the settled will of every party to the Edinburgh Agreement, and of the Scottish people.

        1. The idea of having a second question was put to all the unionist parties by Alex Salmond, and none of they would do it, infact they did everything they could to avoid a second (devo-max)option being offered.

          And I remember you doing everything you could on this site to avoid admiting the scottish people had a right to a second question if one was put forward.

          It took me at least half a dozen attempts to get you to finally admit it was the right of the Scots to have a second question if put forward.

          you have more faces than the town clock.

          1. Every party to the Edinburgh Agreement wanted a single question, and the public consultation wanted a single question. The SNP wanted a single question. Alex Salmond wanted a single question. He also wanted to be able to blame the others for there being a single question. You apparently eagerly buy into his brand of dishonest politics. Why am I not surprised.

        2. There is no lie too blatant or bare faced that you wouldn’t stoop to announce Duncan.
          I will give you the benefit of the doubt and say its probably only motivated by a need to wind up and isn’t actually pathological or compulsory but I’m truly struggling to do so.

        3. On a slightly different issue, I forget who said it but I read a good piece recently on whether or not there should be a referendum on the new Scotland Act powers.

          If the new powers are as influential as those in favour of them claim, perhaps we should seek consent via a referendum?

          I’ve been reading Alistair Campbell’s diaries of late and both he and TB spoke of their belief in the importance of the ‘consent of the people’ for change as radical as devolution and the referendum result in 98 made any lingering doubt or opposition fade away, especially to see it through the initial teething problems around the cost of the new parliament building.

          Following the Calman Commission leading to the 2012 Scotland Act, the architects of it had a pretty bad result in the 2011 Scottish election and in May 2015 both Labour and the Lib Dems suffered in Scotland. Whether this was down to poor public perception of ‘the vow’/further powers is possibly difficult to prove.

          But a positive referendum result on the latest Scotland Act would settle the argument once and for all about whether it is the settled will etc and kill the SNP’s argument about ‘the vow’.

          Any thought’s Duncan?

          The only downside I can see is referendum fatigue, which I have in spades!

  2. I’m still a little sceptical that the latest version of the Scotland Act will have a big impact on tackling poverty or wealth creation but it’s at least a step in the right direction. I’ll be happy if either a Labour or SNP government can prove me wrong on that score.

    Personally I have bigger ambitions for the Scottish Parliament than merely mitigating the disastrous policies of the current UK government. But every little helps I guess

  3. These powers make the Scottish Parliament one of the most powerful devolved legislatures in the world. Not my words, but those of SPICE, the Scottish Parliament Information Centre. Only Switzerland and Canada have greater devolution – and then not by much. Those much vaunted “Federal” countries like the USA give much less power to their states.

    Its time to get on and use these powers, in new and creative ways, to improve the lives of the people of Scotland.

    1. Crikey I expected that people here would be mostly brain washed I did not expect to find them Brain Dead. Just about every Devolved part of the world has better powers than us. From the US states to the Germans. Labour are a damned disgrace,and here is hoping that they will receive the smack in the face they so richly deserve in May 2016 and the following year 2017. I think voting against the devolution of Tax credits have signed your death warrant.

  4. The no campaign was ahead in all polls bar one prior to the vow and nobody I have ever spoke to said that extra powers featured in their decision last September. The likes of devo Max and Fifa contain many of the risks associated with a yes vote (ffa would have saw us losing £8bn per year for the next few years). In addition a large amount of the 37% of scots who voted yes would not even be satisfied with devo max. Therefore too many powers is something that is bad for Scotland.

    1. Try speaking to more EX No voters then.
      Try examining the results of the latest polling figures then.
      The 55 45 split has moved on in the same direction it has been moving for over the last 3 years. It is now somewhere in the region of 52 to 55 for Yes and around 44 for No. Consistently.
      That’s why Labour voted against allowing Hollyrood the power to hold referendum on the Scottish constitution. A stance their so called Scottish members support.

      “Too many powers is something that is bad for Scotland.”

      Why? What is “Too many powers”? Labour keep telling us they are the party of Devolution which means they like to devolve powers so where does this like to devolve powers end? When is it too much?

      The fact is Labour only “likes” to devolve powers to Scotland when the support for Independence becomes strong enough to make them panic and worry. Only the growing support for full Independence releases powers to Scotland as a stop gap and slow down measure for the real thing.

      We can thank the support for Independence for our Scottish Parliament and the growing number of powers it grudgingly squeezes painfully out of Westminster.

      There is only one end to this and that is Independence. We can either achieve it one power and authority at a time or all at once. Labour seem to want to do it the hard and difficult way of one power at a time which means we all have to suffer right wing extremist tory Governments longer then is necessary.

      1. Mike,you’ve commented previously on this site that Yes is polling 52-55%.I’d like to know where you get these figures because the polling information I have seems to indicate a 50:50 split give or take a few percent either way.There would appear to be some movement to Yes,but not the big turnaround you suggest.
        Devomax is the maximum power that the Scottish pArliament can have whilst remaining in the UK.What that maximum is,is a matter for the UK Parliament to decide because it’s a decision that affects all the people of the UK.The powers given last night are the maximum extent of devolution that Westminster is willing to give for various reasons,not least of which is that they believe any more powers held in Scotland would be bad for the Scottish people.Other devolved administrations around the world might have a bitty more power,many have substantially less.National governments have to decide what is appropriate in each particular circumstance.It really is that simple.

        1. I think all polling tells us there is a 3% margin either way. Perhaps its only the polls that have the Yes side ahead that makes the best sensationalist headlines? Because all I’m seeing in the UK supporting pro union media are polls showing support for Independence running between 52 to 55% and No down at 44% in at least 2 polls.
          No doubt the No campaign can muster some manipulated polls that can squeeze out a level of support close to the referendum result when they need to.
          For example I know yougov love to extrapolate polling results on past records of voting rather than actually going out asking folk how they would vote now.

        2. You cant decide what Devo Max is Kev because Devo Max is the Max level of Devolution its possible to give without it becoming full Independence. Its a quantifiable figure not a judgement call.

          Anything less than the the Maximum of Devolution in not the Maximum of devolution Kev!

          Are you for real?

  5. Still not convinced by the new powers. Very limited revenue generation in the form of a nominal tax increase which cannot be targeted at any one section and must be applied to all bands. After which not entirely sure how much of additional monies raised will be kept or impacted by accompanying changes to Barnett. We appear to have got ourselves in a right mess with an incoherent ill thought out and implemented settlement. Time will tell but i have no confidence in the further powers.

    1. I think you have unintentionally referenced the main critique of the old income tax powers that were available to the Scottish Parliament (regarding all bands having to change). The new powers allow the bands to be altered separate from each other so, for example, Labour would raise the top rate to 50% and invest this money in tackling the attainment gap in our schools. We wouldn’t press ahead with the Tory changes to the threshold for the upper limit as well.

      One wealth creation measure that is coming to the Parliament is APD. The SNP want to abolish this tax which, going by GERS figures for 2013/14 brings in £251m pa.

      Barnett works by taking the block grant from the previous year and applying changes to it in line with changes in English spending via the Barnett formula. If we raise additional revenue then that is exactly what it is, additional. The block grant remains what it is and subsequent changes are calculated based on the block grant not the total expenditure of the Scottish Parliament, if that makes sense…

      1. Thanks for the clarification Gerard. To be honest its pretty hard to understand actually what is happening as the detail is always obfuscated by claim and counter claim from the various parties. No one as far as i can tell presents an unbiased simple explanation of whats going on.

  6. Well once again we have Duncans drivel above and the reality below.

    “At the end of it all, a small number of things had been decided.

    Holyrood will NOT have the power to call another referendum

    Labour and the Tories voted against.

    Holyrood will NOT have power over equal opportunities

    Labour abstained, the Tories voted against.

    Holyrood WILL have power over abortion

    Tories and SNP voted for, Labour voted against.

    Holyrood will NOT have power over tax credits

    The Tories voted against. So, in a staggering display of inexplicably brainless hypocrisy, did Labour. Yes, you read that right – after spending the last 10 days raging that the Scottish Government must expensively and by unknown means mitigate Tory tax-credit cuts, Labour turned round and denied the Scottish Parliament the power to stop them happening at all.”

    You would have to go back to 1706 to find a greater betrayal to the people of Scotland.

    When the truth of what happened last night is absorbed by the electorate in Scotland Labour will be lucky if they manage to hold onto a single constituency seat next year.

    I rejoice at the fact that last night was a massive boost to the Independence cause while simultaneously nurse a growing anger and disgust at the criminal workings of the UK State and its sycophantic Uncle Tams within Scotland.

  7. “The Tories refused to say they wouldn’t claw back benefit top-ups

    And here’s the killer. When asked directly by SNP MP Mhairi Black if he would pledge that the Tories wouldn’t treat any compensatory payments to victims of the cuts as income and claw it back to Westminster – leaving Holyrood hundreds of millions out of pocket but the victims no better off – Mundell refused to do so, as Iain Duncan Smith had also done previously.

    The Scotland Bill, if enacted, will now bring about a scenario by which the Scottish Government could have to cut services or increase taxes to fund top-up payments, implement the incredibly costly and complicated bureaucracy needed to carry it out, and then see all the money vanish NOT into people’s pockets, but into the coffers of the Treasury in London.

    Labour didn’t even abstain on tax credits, their natural reaction to anything. They could have done so in total safety, knowing that Tory opposition would have blocked the devolution of them anyway.

    But in one of the crassest, crudest two-fingered salutes to an entire nation ever recorded in the Palace Of Westminster, Labour voted to make doubly sure that the Scottish Parliament could do nothing about the cuts. Because no responsible government could ever now spend the sums of money necessary to mitigate the cuts, knowing that it could all be for nothing.”

  8. Last week the Labour party in Scotland appeared to have nailed mitigating the tax credit cuts as their flagship policy for next years Holyrood elections. The Press came out with “battle lines drawn” headlines. Every question at FMQ in Holyrood was a promise from Labour and an attack on the SNP over mitigating the tax credit cuts.

    Labour, last night, voted to prevent Scotland having control of tax credits.

    Labour, last night, voted against the fastest, cheapest, simplest, and direct method of mitigating the tax credit cuts.

    That just does not make any sense.

    1. It makes perfect sense. Labour are an English political party like their “Better Together” English comrades in the English Conservative and English Lib Dem parties.
      They believe in the ideal of a Greater England State. A State they’ve labelled the United Kingdom of Great Britain.
      Their Scottish branch representation is nothing but a mouthpiece in Scotland for their English leadership in London.
      They are going to have a seriously hard time trying to convince anybody any different after yesterdays fiasco.

      1. Except Britain is a Scottish project which allowed, and continues to allow, the Scottish elite a much bigger stage than they would otherwise have.

    2. Labour voted for the power to top up tax credits last night. The powers are coming to the Scottish Parliament to deal with any cuts if the Government so choose. Is this line “Labour … voted to prevent Scotland having control of tax credits” the excuse the SNP will use when they are given the opportunity to propose mitigating policies or additional benefits for the people of Scotland?

      Also, we have MPs who represent us in Westminster and therefore we do have control of tax credits and all other issues reserved to the UK Parliament. You might not want to remain a part of the UK but the majority of Scots do and perhaps you should stop ‘talking down’ our democratic influence.

      1. “Labour voted for the power to top up tax credits last night.” – That is true, although the DWP seems to be reserving the right to deduct any top up.

        However when given a choice of control of tax credits, the Labour party refused to vote for control and instead opted for adding an additional top up system. A bureaucracy to top up the results of an already complex bureaucracy – which is much more difficult and expensive.

        So I still do not understand why – it makes no sense at all.

    3. You obviously missed this part so here it is again.

      “And here’s the killer. When asked directly by SNP MP Mhairi Black if he would pledge that the Tories wouldn’t treat any compensatory payments to victims of the cuts as income and claw it back to Westminster – leaving Holyrood hundreds of millions out of pocket but the victims no better off – Mundell refused to do so, as Iain Duncan Smith had also done previously.”

      Willful blindness in favour of the party can do no wrong. And this is what Labour accuse the SNP of to the extent of referring to the movement towards Independence as a “cult”.

      Nobody does projection quite like the Labour faithful.
      No wonder you have the full support of the cultists in the Orange Lodge and the SDL.

  9. “Duncan Hothersall, Labour Hame’s editor, says it’s time for the angry boil to be lanced. The democratic will of the people has been delivered and the debate must move on to how we use these powers to improve Scotland.”




    This is how Labour with their Conservative “Better Together” Comrades would lance the angry boil which is yet another betrayal of Scotland.

  10. As has been pointed out before….

    Labour has made such political mileage out of mitigating Tory tax credit cuts.
    Setting aside the fantasy finance arrangements suggested by Labour we have the Latest Labour “defence of the people of Scotland.” last night.

    The current situation leaves families exposed to either: losing tax credits completely and therefore unable to be “topped up” or losing a proportion of tax credits and in the event of a top up being provided by whatever Scottish administration, this top up will be under threat of being “clawed back” as extra revenue (both Mundell and IDS) have refused to deny they would do this, and since they promised not to cut tax credits – then did – the assumption must be they will – therefore top ups are pointless).

    This could have been avoided by devolving tax credits to Scotland. The SNP asked for it…….and Labour…the “defenders of the people” voted against it!

    Labour have no moral high ground on this and are finished

  11. Labour? A very far cry from being true labour comrades. Once again you have voted with the Tories to the detriment of Scotland. Sycophants to Mundell and his ilk.

    You,editor,yet again with this piece prove you are merely a Unionist lackey.

  12. “The passing of the final Commons stage of the Scotland Bill and the fulfilment of the Vow is to be widely welcomed.” Your Scotland Office minister doesn’t seem to agree.

  13. Duncan, I don’t have my finger on Labour’s pulse the way you do, but I was under the distinct impression that Labour too were disappointed that the Vow seemed to be not being delivered …… Now this ‘the Vow has been delivered’ stuff …. It is really disappointing ….. this is absolutely nowhere near ‘as close to federalism as you can get’. It just isn’t ….. Also, to go on about ‘grievance hunting’ seems a bit beneath you, why put any limits on the aspirations of our country?

    1. “Grievance” Is the new Labour byword for opposition in Westminster because they cant bring themselves to “oppose” in Westminster. Perhaps the SNP should adopt the term in Hollyrood to describe Labours efforts there?

      1. I agree ….. It seems when the SNP oppose, Labour claim they are ‘grievance hunting’ …. begs the question – what is Labour actually for??

    2. But this is as close to federalism as the UK government,democratically elected just a few months ago,is prepared to give.Scotland can’t decide how much federalism it wants from the UK on its own,It can’t decide to make the UK a federal country,just as it can’t decide,on its own,to become a federal part of Canada.It would need Canada to agree.Now,the 55 SNP MPs in Westminster are democratically elected to Westminster.They have every right to demand a federal UK.They have every right to persuade,cajole,pressurise and beg there fellow MPs,from all parts of the UK,to adopt a federal system.If they can’t persuade them,it won’t happen.Thats democracy.

      1. And that’s exactly the point and the failure of “Better Together” The Yes campaign has been vindicated and the No campaign exposed for the worthless lying vow breaking corruption we on the Yes side always knew it would be.
        Now many “Soft” No voters know it for sure as well.
        I knew the pro union cabal would assist in the delivery of Independence I just didn’t realise how quickly and how forcefully they would cooperate until now.
        Between the Conservative drive for EVEL and Labours propensity to abstain or vote for Con Tory policy in Westminster we are on the express train to Indy ref 2 with the inevitable outcome.
        And all the SNP have to do is sit back and watch as The Red and Blue Tories hand Independence over to them on a silver platter.

  14. I’ll just say watch what’s about to happen to, what was the Labour party now, all the media assistance in the world will not help you get out of this one, the hard of understanding are a lot less than you might hope for, you’ve pushed a button out of complete petulance at the SNP in the hope of garnering the support of the uninformed, and the stupid diehards and once again put The Labour Party before country,

    This time Labour has indeed sealed it’s own fate in Scotland out of Tribal hatred, and I’m not laughing, although neither am I mourning
    In true Labour tradition you’ve not blown your own foot off, you’ve taken the whole body, head and organs with it

  15. ‘Put down the pitchforks, democracy has delivered’ I will say one thing Duncan, you have a unique gift to provoke.
    You know that ‘the further powers’ on offer are going to be more trouble for the government at Holyrood to deal with than no powers at all. In fact you are getting a laugh out of watching what ‘The Vow’ is in reality. It is of no consequence to you that these so called further powers are a crock of keech being dumped on Holyrood, you can’t contain the pleasure you get out of this, knowing that it is the SNP government that will have to try and make the best of them; hence your snide headline.
    That is depressing. You are so entrenched in your tribal war that you prefer to score a cheap political point, amongst the on line anoraks. You put the turf war between the SNP and Labour before the good of the nation.
    It is sad but so be it. The SNP will carry on at Westminster and Holyrood putting the interests of Scotland first whilst fighting against a Conservative government in London and a desperate reactionary unionist Labour Party in Scotland.
    As I keep reminding you Duncan, the Scottish electorate are not stupid. Labour is in the process of finding out what happens to a party without principal. As the SNP government carry on governing, the party members and supporters will carry on at grassroots level trying to persuade the remainder of the Scottish electorate yet to be persuaded, never to vote for a unionist party again.

    On reflection, I suppose I shouldn’t be so naïve, what else should we expect from a political party that up until recently ran the country at all levels and most of its institutions, but now finds itself very close to extinction. I suspect it is going to get a lot nastier over the next few months. Let me leave you with this thought Duncan, are your troops ready for the fight? how disciplined and how capable are Labour’s prospective candidates? Trust me Duncan you are in for the fight of your life. Democracy will be delivered.

    1. You assume the SNP will form the next administration.They might.They might not.Then what?

      1. To be fair barring some exceptional unforseen circumstance its a relatively safe assumption. Any polling available to assess whether labour are recovering? They are certainly on the offensive but they still have credibility issues.

      2. And you assume labour has a chance, how ? what can they offer Scotland but a lifetime of nought. Your party just screwed Scotland last night AGAIN.

        your the tories best pals.

      3. Nobody is assuming anymore because Labour are going out of their way to ensure it happens to an extent where they are going to end up being the 3rd largest representation and no longer the so called opposition.
        Have a good long hard look at the Lib dems because that is Labours future in Scotland.

        1. Stevan,Davy,Mike
          It is far from certain that the SNP will win a majority of seats.If they don’t,I think it highly unlikely they would form a minority government.Why would they? In such a scenario,Labour would form a minority government,perhaps in coalition with the Libdems though that seems unlikely at the moment.

    1. Jeez Alan, I’m certainly no fan of the Labour Party just now (and even less a fan of the slabbers) but that was a pretty offensive post.

  16. On the one hand I was so dissapointed that the Labour Party voted against the abortion law being devolved to Scotland on the other the hand the look of disappointment on the Labour Pary MPs told the true story that the Labour Party do not want any powers devolved to Scotland.

    The Labour Party thought that by setting up the Scottish Parliament that the idea of Scotland’s Independence would fizzle out that was big mistake and the genie is out the bottle.

    The tap has been dripping small amounts of power and this is good for the SNP who are playing the long game, and the next phase shall be an avalanche of SNP policy announcements leading up to the Scottish elections in May of next year.

    It will be to the detriment of Scottish Labour section if and when the SNP do good things that the Scottish Labour section go onto bleat and be negative as the Scottish people do not like to hear Scotland to be talked down.

    So far from the SNP being dissapointed by the meagre powers it pains the Labour Party even more that powers have been devolved and as in the case of the tap they will continue to drip drip drip towards Scotland’s Independence.

  17. Whats the problem Duncan ?? why are you blocking replys to your comments. Is it back to the old tricks again.

      1. No reply feature on your 9.14pm & 9.16pm comments, its just like the old days of “labour hame”.

        1. Dear me. You really think I’m going through removing reply buttons? 🙂 It’s a standard comments feature. Replies can only nest 5 levels deep. It’s to stop them being unreadable on mobile devices and small screens. It’s not a conspiracy.

          1. Jeez, These grievance mongerer’s are just unbelievable. Conspircacies at ever turn , pitiful/

  18. Once more you cast SNP and Yes voters as the grievance hunters yet the wording of this article, much like your twitter feed with its pinned post, seem designed to antagonise every single one of them.
    Perhaps if we want this country to move on it’s time to stop trolling.

    1. Until you start posting such things to Sturgeon, Wings and Wishart I’m afraid I’m not buying.

      1. Duncan, that’s you in a nutshell.

        “Everyone else should move on, because I want them too. But I won’t.”

        Once upon a time, not even so very long ago, I was labour to the bootstraps. It galls me to see what the Scottish party, and its chosen acolytes, have become. Snide, petty, hypocritical.

        I doubt you care about lost voters like me, Duncan. Easy to write us off, tell yourself we’re an ‘anomoloy’ despite all polling and electoral evidence to the contrary.

        But there’s no route back for your party without us, however much you kid yourself. And to be as boldly frank as I can be, while Scottish Labour tolerates people like you, and McTernan and McDougal in its organisation, I, and many like me, won’t be having anything to do with your party. Sorry if that offends, but it is the truth.

        1. Forgive me, but where are you reading “But I won’t”?

          I’m nobody’s “chosen acolyte”. I’m just a bloke running a blog expressing a view.

          I do care about lost voters. I care deeply that so many Scots see every issue as a way to push for independence. I want desperately for our national conversation to address people’s working lives, the quality of childhoods, the effectiveness of healthcare, the working conditions of those in the care sector. I am scunnered, daily, by the response to raising those issues being people claiming independence would solve them. Because it’s a lie.

          Everyone should move on. Me included. Why won’t you?

          1. You’re not a bloke “running a blog”, Duncan.

            You’re Edinburgh Southern Constituency Labour Party Chair, you’re on the Scottish Fabians Executive, your owner and editor of the only siginifcant labour leaning blog in scottish politics and a regular on the national media for your parties views . See, it’s exactly that sort of disingenuous….never mind, it just becomes a row, what’s the point.

            You, and the type of politics you represent are at the very heart of modern Scottish Labour. You aren’t alone, mind. It’s not personal in that sense. And I’m sure you’re very pleasant to your husband, work colleagues and neighbours. But As a former labour voter, and yes, member. I can’t stomach it. And I am very, very far from alone. And the e anger won’t go away, Duncan. Not while people like you are still involved, and still cheerleading for this slow strangulation of Scotland that we now face.

            I don’t drink the Kool Aid. I don’t think, for one second, that independence is inevitable. Indeed, I think it’s less likely than not. But I know what I think of what labour has done, and is still doing. And while the architects of that are connected with the party in any way, I, and many like me, will treat your party as pariah, as it deserves.

            I may take grim satisfaction from the justice of that. Trust me when I say, I take no pleasure at all.

          2. Okay, I’m prepared to sidestep the ad hominems here and engage on the substance.

            I don’t believe I’m cheerleading for the slow strangulation of Scotland. I believe I’m arguing, quite earnestly, for what is in the best interests of the most people.

            I never suggested you think independence is inevitable. I suggested you think independence is the answer to all our problems. Do you think that? If not, it would be great if you could start saying that.

            But what is it you blame Labour for, exactly? Arguing our principles? Delivering on them when in office? Failing to beat the Tories? What?

            Because if this conversation is anything like hundreds of others I’ve had, you will tell me you actually did like a lot of what Labour did in office. And you do like Labour standing up for its principles.

            So what is the unforgivable thing we have done? Campaigned against independence? Really? Is it that?

          3. *Side stepping the five reply limit below/above*

            You say you believe you are “arguing, quite earnestly, for what is in the best interests of the most people.”

            The most what people? It’s not dutch or german or swiss or chinese people. You are arguing in the best interests of the most people in the UK, right?

            So if 1000 scots have to suffer to improve the lot of 5000 english, that’s an entirely acceptable utilitarian sacrifice, right?

            That’s exactly where Scottish Labour stand, in my view. Willing, and even eager, to gut their own for a ‘larger number’ where UK/English Labour need votes. It’s where you’ve stood for ages, and to be fair, it’s not all your fault; it’s the inevitable outworking of a grossly disproportionate union. It is always going to end up the first cousin of colonialism. Ireland was offered more home rule in 1911, and more again in 1920 than Scotland was offered in 2015. That is farcical.

            You ask ” I suggested you think independence is the answer to all our problems. Do you think that? ”

            Of course I don’t. But it is a large part of the answer to a great many of them, and ignoring that to make No voters and Labour apparatchiks feel better about their unionism is not even a runner. Indeed, the steady drip drip of farce since then – Labour and Conservative stitch up of Smith, especially on welfare and employment and union rights, EVEL, the indiginity of English MPs having passed EVEL then deigning to decide what Scotland can have in defiance of the MPS scotland itself chose, the tax credit debacle, exclusion of SNP mps from human rights committee, the flooding of the ‘Scottish’ Grand Committee with English unionist mps simply vindicates every distrustful suspicion we had on the Union itself, and the Labour and Tory parties in particular. Suspected we’d be screwed over. Suspicion proved very well founded.

            You ask what I won’t forgive Scottish Labour for. In short, putting its ambitions for Uk (de facto English) office before their duties to Scotland. And conniving with the Tories to do so. I don’t accept your justification of yourselves. I don’t accept the honesty on your motives. And I am not alone.

            But I am a voter, Duncan. I don’t have to convince you. You have to convince me, and many, many people like me. You think you are owed a hearing with the special moral unctiousness that seems a part of the New Labour mindset.

            You aren’t. You are NEVER owed a hearing. You WILL NEVER be owed a hearing.

            You earn it, and you are allowed to earn it on whatever terms the voters choose to give it. And for me, as for many, many like me (and I suspect however much you abhor it, you know just how very many that is) the price of even a hearing will be, inter alia, the exclusion of people like you and McDougal from the party permenantly. Because the party will never be acceptable in the version you have created.

            I doubt your ambition will allow that sacrifice, Duncan. and so your party, and perhaps you, will remain frustrated, angry, bitter…and powerless.

            Maybe after a decade or two of that, you’ll understand how many of us ex-labour types have been made to feel by the likes of you.

          4. I believe being part of the UK is in the best interests of the people of Scotland. I am not in the business of “gutting our own”. I am acting in our interests. You are free to disagree about where our interests lie, but you are not justified in arguing that I am opposed to them.

            How is independence a large part of the solution to most of our problems? It would take away our economic security. It would require us to be involved in nation-building, and divert resources from job creation, education, caring and the rest. And it is not what the people of Scotland want!

            I’m afraid your litany of grievance – and it is just that – is the farcical thing here. The Smith Commission was agree BY ALL PARTIES INCLUDING THE SNP. EVEL *is* bad law, but it is a law the Labour Party loudly OPPOSED. Labour understood how best to block tax credit cuts and did it – while the SNP insisted on a grandstanding approach which was all puffed-up-chest but no practical use. Committee appointments are made under House of Commons rules – you’re blaming Labour for those now?

            That is frankly a pathetic lashing out; a set of grievances most of which are not even appropriately aimed at Labour. You need to do better. Why do you hate Labour so much for things which Labour *didn’t do*? What has got into your psyche to make you blame Labour for everything bad?

            It is the referendum, isn’t it. You lost a democratic vote and you can’t deal with it. And you now want rid of anyone who argued against your point of view and prevailed in that debate. Well that is pretty sad. And it’s even sadder that to hide that juvenile attitude you’re prepared to pin blame on Labour for a whole host of things it isn’t responsible for.

            You think *I* have made you feel this way? You’re wrong. You want me to name the people responsible? Scots who voted. Scots who gave their view. Your anger is at democracy, because you lost.

            Now underneath all of this, never even having a hope in hell of being seen, is the reality that we probably agree on 80% of what policy would be best. Redistribution of wealth. Fair pay for fair work. Equality and decency in public life. But instead of identifying those agreements we are locked in this pointless hate-fest over a decision that is in the past. That’s incredibly sad, and incredibly wasteful.

          5. *Side stepping the five reply limit below/above*

            Only got back to this today. Well, it didn’t take you long to revert to type, Duncan, did it? Snide, arrogant, unctious abusive, disdainful.

            Your funeral, Duncan. But I remind you, you need me, and people like me. We don’t need you.

            Specifically, your responses:

            “You are free to disagree about where our interests lie, but you are not justified in arguing that I am opposed to them.”

            Actually, I’m perfectly justified. You don’t get this, Duncan. You don’t get to define yourself. Your high opinion of your own morals is meaningless.

            You’re judged by us, the voters you need. You and what has become of the party. We judge on what we see, not on the guff you say.

            “How is independence a large part of the solution to most of our problems? It would take away our economic security. ”

            What security? You think being a peripheral perennial kicking boy for Westminster and their South East favourites is MORE secure than a confident, self reliant first world nation of 6 million? Like Denmark, or Norway? You dare to say that as the VERY JOBS at HMRC Labour claimed a no vote would protect are slashed precisely by the government that no vote installed, despite no mandate in Scotland. you think that’ll fly with the Steel workers? The HMRC staff? The Glasgow workers whose pay claim your party STILL hasn’t settled? You could try it on them in person, but I’d advise you to being a decent pair of running shoes with you.

            “I’m afraid your litany of grievance – and it is just that – is the farcical thing here. The Smith Commission was agree BY ALL PARTIES INCLUDING THE SNP.”

            Smith was reluctantly accepted,a swas made clear on the VERY DAY it was published. and not just by SNPBad, the greens made it clear it was a stichup, and in case that’s not enough even your Better Together colleagues the LibDems admitted your party betrayed the Scottish TUC on employment and union issues, on orders from your English brethern, orders that are now likely to gut workers protections in Scotland. *Your party* put political calculation in England, and order from the TUC there, ahead of the interests of Scottish trade unionist AS EXPRESSSED BY THOSE TRADE UNIONISTS. The only thing you’ve ended up pooling, is the ability of the Tory led Commons to destroy workers protections in Scotland. And that’s before we look at the debacle over welfare.

            Of course, the debacle is that the Scottish Bill isn’t even a proper fulfillment of Smith, which was a poor imitation itself of the Vow, which was itself a watered down promise compared to Brown’s rhetoric. Every stage, to the point now that the Scottish Bill, as it stands, is a fiscal noose around Scotlands neck, connived in by LAbour and their Tory friends YET AGAIN. I’m not an SNP member, and never will be. But I would heartily recommend to Sturgeon that if this debacle is what emerges from the Lords, she rejects the bill outright. and makes it clear that she will do so.

            “EVEL *is* bad law, but it is a law the Labour Party loudly OPPOSED.”

            You campaigned tooth and nail for the Commons to retain control over Scotland. You won, and this was the reward, emminantly predicatible. So yes, your *opposition* is worthless and meritless.

            “Labour understood how best to block tax credit cuts and did it – while the SNP insisted on a grandstanding approach which was all puffed-up-chest but no practical use.”

            You’ve BLOCKED nothing! you delayed it, no more, while conniving to leave Tax Credits in Tory hands, rendering topup ‘powers’ worthless because of clawback. Which, let’s be honest, is exactly what you and your party wanted ; a fiscal trap to try and make SNP look bad, and bugger that it crucifies the Scottish poor in doing so. Party first, Duncan, always party first. Your only problem is, yet again, your wheeze is so poorly disguised that most scots already see through it, so you probably won’t even get the electoral filup you crave so you crucified the Scottish working poor for nothing.

            “Committee appointments are made under House of Commons rules – you’re blaming Labour for those now?”

            Why are the Commons rules relevant? Because you wanted them to be, campaigned for them to be, frightened pensioners for them to be, lied and threatened and leaked for them to be. So yes, you fought tooth and nail for that corrupt cesspool to keep control of the country, so damn right you’re responsible for what it then went on to do to Scotlands representation.

            suck it up.

            “That is frankly a pathetic lashing out; a set of grievances most of which are not even appropriately aimed at Labour.”

            See above.

            ” You need to do better.”

            I don’t need to do damn all, Duncan. That’s the point. We’re the voters you lost. You need to convince us, not the other way around. You’re the one whinging about wanting us to do something for you; many of us are quite happy and fulfilled treating you as the moral lepers you’ve become.

            But your pride, and anger, and arrogance, both as an official, and more widely as a party, won’t allow it. You’d rather lose perpetually and feel righteous than admit you f***ed up and do the grovelling required. Well, so be it. We’ll et on fine without you as you disappear into the dust.

            We don’t need you, even to exist. You need us. And you are so far from getting any of us, ever again, as t be farcical.

            “Why do you hate Labour so much for things which Labour *didn’t do*?”

            ACtually, I don’t hate Labour. It’s just a label, a brand; it’s the people inside it that matter, and many of them I don’t despise. I have time for McLeish, even Lamont, Clarke, I don’t mind Kezia though she;s basically a big sack of nothing much …but McTernan? McDougal? Murphy? Alexander? Harris? Baillie? You? Beneath contempt.

            The Scottish people did a fine job defenstrating that sorry cabal. Murphy can get back to warmongery. Alexander can attend his money. Hopefully Baillie will be next. But the party still has the aparatchiks, still screaming and whining and bileous. And while the party tolerates the existence of that cretinous crew, we won’t give it the time of day.


            “It is the referendum, isn’t it. You lost a democratic vote and you can’t deal with it.”

            Deal with it? I accept it took place. I accept it has certain legal consequences, for now. but how it was done, and what’s been done since? No, I’m under no compunction ot accept that. I’m quite free, as so very many ex labour are, to punish you into the next eternity for that.

            ” And you now want rid of anyone who argued against your point of view and prevailed in that debate.”

            No just the cretinous ones outlined above, and their underlings. AS stated, I’m sure there’s a handful of decent souls, somewhere in the party, left.

            “Well that is pretty sad.”

            Here’s a tissue, dry your eyes.

            “And it’s even sadder that to hide that juvenile attitude you’re prepared to pin blame on Labour for a whole host of things it isn’t responsible for.”

            You keep telling yourself that. Refusing to accept your own awfulness worked so so well on the Iraq issue too, didn’t it… Labour. Forgotten nothing. Learned nothing.

            “You think *I* have made you feel this way?”

            You and people like you.

            “Now underneath all of this, never even having a hope in hell of being seen, is the reality that we probably agree on 80% of what policy would be best. Redistribution of wealth. Fair pay for fair work. Equality and decency in public life. But instead of identifying those agreements we are locked in this pointless hate-fest over a decision that is in the past. That’s incredibly sad, and incredibly wasteful.”

            There is no point seeking agreement with a group of moral lepers whose every word we regard as lies. You can sing as sweet a tune as you can muster, we’ve seen the dirty, stinking heart beneath.

            You want your party to get a hearing?


            Get into the dirt, eat the mud before you, and grovel. While throwing overboard the moral lepers who brought you to the dust.

            and when we watch those same lepers drown, and the party’s belly filled with dirt of the street, then, just maybe, we’ll give you the time of day.

            I can promise you we never will until you do.

  19. Duncan it seems that the Daily Record the organ of the Scottish Labour section and the Better Together campaign is today turning around and supporting the SNP see the link below the Daily Record highlights that the Labour Party and the Tories are working together and voting to stop the powers in the VOW being devolved to Scotland which contradicts and is the opposite of everything you have said.


    1. You’re posting a link to an opinion column by Joan McAlpine, who is an SNP MSP. Joan has written a column for the Record for some time. She regularly uses it to punt lazy half-truths for idiots to pick up and repeat. So, job done this time then.

      1. Duncan that is your opinion but for the many not the few Joan speaks the truth the mere fact that your once great allie the organ of the Scottish Labour section the Daily Record is now supporting the SNP is the reason why you are not happy and remember you once said that if it’s in the Daily Record it must be true these are your own words.

        Al had a look at your links they do not In anyway show that Joan is a serial liar you see what you want to believe they are full of half-truths and do not exist except in your imagination.

        1. “you once said that if it’s in the Daily Record it must be true these are your own words”

          Would you be so kind as to point me at where I said that? I have no recollection of it.

          I don’t think you really understand how newspaper columnists work.

          1. Duncan I am sure that if you dont think too hard it will come back to you just think Daily Record Daily Record it may trigger the memory.

    2. McAlpine is a serial liar why she is even getting away with writing nothing but false propaganda in the Daily Record i don’t understand and yet so many peopel read the crap and beleive it
      Ahe has been proven to been lying for propaganda purposes so many times alreadly

      and now this too https://mobile.twitter.com/FraserWhyte81/status/664398657647693825/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

      She clearly uses the pepers column to feed the SNP followers what they want to hear eeven when she is 100% wrong , she simply isn’t worth paying any attention to , whay she is an elected politician and yet gets away with blatently lying time after time is beyond me and yet SNP follwers are pursuing Alistair Carmicheal for lying while their own Politicians do it day after day after day .
      The truth on EVEL BTW is here http://lallandspeatworrier.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/what-does-evel-actually-do.html
      Even Alex Salmond was caught lying to the Nation during
      INDY and he cost the nation £20K approx trying to deny it …the SNP really are the most dishonest political party in the UK.

  20. Kev

    “The maximum power you can have is the maximum power you’re given by Westminster.”

    But that doesn’t make it the maximum power you can have under the constitution of Devolution you witless wonder.

    1. Constitution of devolution? The UK doesn’t have a written constitution never mind a constitution of devolution and it isn’t going to invent one just to suit one part of the UK.It has to be agreed by all parts of the UK.Smith delivers the maximum amount of devolution that is possible given the beliefs and policies of the majority of members of the UK Parliament,who were elected just a few months ago on these beliefs and policies.You can’t expect the UK to do what the SNP wants just because the majority of Scots happened to vote for the SNP.

      1. Devolution is a constitutional arrangment oh witless one.

        Devo Max is the maximum its possible to deliver Smith doesn’t even come close. Smith was a deliberate breaking of the vow to deliver Devo Max Home Rule and Federation because it was made up of compromise. Compromise between what the different parties wanted to give with Labour being the party to offer the least.

        What people expected was the delivery of what was promised via the VOW. Remember that? Or would you like the YouTube links to remind you once again?

        Deliberate willful denial. Another wind up quest?

  21. Here goes…

    I really don’t know what to make of an individual who seems to suggest that a political party, for whom it would be reasonable to infer he has absolutely no intention of voting, ought to “grovel”, “eat dirt” or “fill its belly with mud” in order to hope to reacquire his affections.

    The hatred for the Labour Party seems entirely referable to its stance in regards to devolution historically, and to the conduct of the party in the referendum campaign. Well, in regard to economic security and the fiscal position of an independent Scotland, the crime of ‘scaremongering” pensioners would seem to be mitigated by the reality that there was genuine reason to be alarmed about the relative fiscal positions of an independent Scotland, and a Scotland that continued as part of the UK.

    This financial inconvenience is whitewashed (to this day) by supporters of the independence campaign. There is no willingness to engage with this reality. None at all. To your charge of scaremongering, I raise the duplicity and irresponsibility of the yes campaign.

    Duplicity … how many yessers were undecideds who took the plunge because they were told it was once in a lifetime? The SNP turned round at its conference in 2014 and made perfectly clear it didn’t intend to recognise the finality of rhe referendum result, in accordance with the Edinburgh Agreement.

    Duplicity … Alex Salmond (an economist) and Nicola Sturgeon allowed the perception to foment that sterlingisation was equivalent to a currency union after his strawman “gotcha” in the 2nd debate.


    The presentation of our position as a member state of the EU, the selective presentation of GERS figures (ignoring the most recent after publication towards the end of the campaign for example), tbe equation of the Bank of England (an institution of the UK) with the UK’s sovereign debt (a liability) the presentation of a revenue stream (oil) accounting for 16% of the total exchequer receipts as a “bonus”.

    I could go on.

    The No campaign didn’t create the economic concerns around independence. It highlighted them. Did it ever occur to you that the electorate itself presented these concerns, and that the No campaign simply refelected it? Has it ever occured to you that No, and the 55%, were right to be concerned?

    If you don’t respect those concerns, tough. Grow up. It was one voter, one vote. The No campaign was there to try and preserve what it views as a succesful 300 year old political union. It wasn’t there to take a crowd of doe eyed nationalists out for an ice cream.

    1. “The No campaign was there to try and preserve what it views as a succesful 300 year old political union. It wasn’t there to take a crowd of doe eyed nationalists out for an ice cream.”

      Yet more petty insults of those whose votes you crave.

      But we don’t have to convince you. You don’t seem to get this.

      A HUGE number of ex labour supporters have turned their back on you – permanently. Among the younger cohorts, that rejection is approaching an extinction level event. And you keep complaining that somehow, yes voters, especially ex labour yes “shouldn’t do this, and mustn’t do that”.

      You don’t get to decide that. We do.

      “To your charge of scaremongering, I raise the duplicity and irresponsibility of the yes campaign.”

      You raise what you like, we aren’t buying it. You don’t get this. You’ve lost the argument with us. Completely and utterly lost it. Long ago. You can relitigate all you like, we just take that as reoffending, and increase the just sentence.

      We’ve seen what happened, post No. Betrayal within smith on Welfare, Employment and union rights, tax power beyond income bands. Betrayal on the Scottish Bill. McDougal’s stalker dossier, for which, frankly, he should face charges, the snide wretch. The abandonment of Steel. HMRC. EVEL. All possible thanks to your party’s snivelling betrayal of Scots for the forlorn hope power in England. Which is now probably beyond you for decades too.

      And listen carefully here; we don’t accept your bona fides on this, either. Not now. Not ever.

      AS far as we’re concerned that batch of miscreants I named are liars, con artists, bullies and spivs, putting petty personal ambition and sectarian party loyalty above their neighbours good. If you defend them, then you are one too. We don’t care about your spiteful rebuttals to that charge. We’ve already judged you and yours guilty. Final judgment. No appeal.

      Look at the numbers beneath the simple polls; the numbers on trust and competence, on honesty. Rock bottom for the party, and for Murphy. Unmoved by Corbyn. Unmoved by Kezia. God alone knows what would have happened if Duncan’s wee crush on Liz 4.5 had not become another humiliation.

      And you know damn well, anecdotally, that you are a busted flush. It’s not just the numbers, it’s the permenance of the numbers. Noone, not in that huge group of ex labour yes voters, is listening to you. and Noone will ever listen again while you sing the same tune. Even if SNP f*** up, which is entirely possible, they’ll go sideways SSP, Greens, or some other vehicle. You are dead to them. Dead, despised and unmourned.

      Which is why in the last days of the GE2015, you betrayed your own principles, YET AGAIN, running pathetically after unionist tactical votes from Tories and LibDems – not on some soicalist principle, but on pure unionism. All while the tories and their supporters laughed at you. Hell, we’re all laughing now. Your unionist rump party, what you’ve left of what we used to call home, with its collection of timeservers and placemen, are almost too pathetic to hate now. But not to despise, not yet.

      You’re probably furious right now. You know I’m right on the voters you’ve lost, but you find my blunt and, perhaps vicious, judgement on you and yours disrespectful, offensive even.

      Now, once again for slow learners. here’s the kicker.


      You. Are. The begger. Without us, people like us, you, and your party will live the rest of your miserable political life as nothing, a mere target of mockery and derision, until the party I used to care about dies. You may not like that. you may hate us for that.

      Good, suck it up. You’ll get to know how we felt. Because you are powerless to change it. Because we don’t need you, or your affection. We don’t need you to like us. The voters have ALL the power.

      You are the begger. Begging for mercy, which you might get, but on our terms, or not at all. You are the lepers.

      So you can get to begging. Or you can just Get tae.

      Either’s good.

        1. That’s the point, Susan. The point Duncan et al are desperate to ignore. This is the stuff churning around thousands of brains. Accepting that reality is too much for them, so we have this pointless article – the same old, same old from Duncan, never realising, it seems, that he himself is now part of the problem.

          1. May I congratulate “Alban Fry” on the best and most honest put down of hothersall and the labour party ever.

            Scotland does not need the labour party in any form or fashion, we already have a political party that puts our country first and it isn’t labour.

    2. Comrade Anthony it is your choice to side with the bourgeoisie and as for the 300 year political union it was a disaster and nothing to shout about if you think the history of the thing they once called the British Empire in which Scots were used as cannon fodder fighting in other peoples countries and exploiting them is a good thing then you are deluded. Wake up and smell the coffee or the irn bru because there is no such places as Great Britian or United Kingdom they are only names they do not exist in reality and last but not least if you think there is a Union then I advise you to seek help.

  22. This letter in todays Herald sums up for me the ridiculous position Labour has got itself into in Scotland and needs to answered.

    “If Keith Howell can point me to any progressive or radical left-wing political movement that has stood with the establishment against the independence of its people or its country I will read his letters.

    The fact that he feels obliged to persuade us that the Labour Party is a left-wing party tells you all you need to know about the Labour Party.

    Share article

       

    Dave McEwan Hill


    I think the point that D.McEwan Hill makes in his letter is at the core of the argument of this long string of these lengthy comments.
    So I ask Duncan or any other Labour supporter to address this specific point; is there another “progressive or radical left-wing political movement that has stood with the establishment against the independence of its people or its country?”

    Duncan, your party’s survival is at risk. You need to address this particular point about the Labour Party’s priorities in Scotland. Ideology or survival?

    1. The idea that socialism should equate to nationalism isn’t just ludicrous, it’s laughable.

      Again and again you try to paint the Scottish independence movement as if it were a struggle against oppression. It is not, and it never has been.

      We live in an independent country. You want to subdivide it. That isn’t socialism, it isn’t radicalism and it definitely isn’t left wing.

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